Climate benefits of wooden construction in urban context

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IOP Conference Series: Earth and Environmental Science, Volume 1101, issue 2
Wooden construction materials have two climate benefits compared to non-wooden options: lower lifecycle emissions and a carbon storage potential. This study estimates the implications of replacing concrete buildings with wooden ones for a period of 35 years in Helsinki metropolitan area, Finland. The study has three main steps. First, the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions difference between concrete and wooden buildings is estimated. Next, we select the most accurate carbon storage potential of wooden buildings. Finally, we compare future wooden and concrete building scenarios regarding the climate benefits for the metropolitan area. We use data provided by the regional authority of the study area on predicted residential building construction. According to our findings, switching to wooden construction in urban areas can have a significant climate benefit for the studied region. Increasing wooden construction can cut carbon emissions by 0.56 Mt and increase the carbon storage by 1.83 Mt in the study area, an amount that is four times bigger than the yearly emissions from traffic in the same urban area. The findings are not only useful for the city of Helsinki but also to other global cities which have committed to carbon neutral strategies and have sustainable forestry practices available.
Funding Information: This research was funded by Helsinki-Uusimaa Regional Council, UrWood grant (310344). We also thank the City of Helsinki for their support. The views expressed by the authors do not necessarily reflect those of the funder. Publisher Copyright: © Published under licence by IOP Publishing Ltd.
Talvitie , I , Amiri , A & Junnila , S 2022 , ' Climate benefits of wooden construction in urban context ' , IOP Conference Series: Earth and Environmental Science , vol. 1101 , no. 2 , 022048 .